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Expats face the brunt as Monkeypox is detected in Kerala

The trend of launching an assaultive against expatriates each time a virus outbreak occurs, should be stopped, said the Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA).

The party’s comments came after the first case of Monkeypox was detected in the country when a person who returned to Kerala from the Middle East was hospitalized and later tested positive for the disease, as confirmed by Health Minister Veena George.

The news about the case has seen a spew of hate comments and anger towards the expat population in the UAE and across the Gulf countries.

“The initial reaction by the ruling party is to blame their shortcomings on others. Despite showing all the symptoms, the health department did not test the young man as required and sent him home. The government’s laxity in being prepared and having a contact list ready is evident.”

A large number of doctors and nurses from Kerala work in various countries. There are students who pursue medical courses abroad. These categories face the occupational hazard of viral attacks. In order to cover their failures and ability to curb the spread, the blame is shifted to these expatriates, calling them ‘disease carriers’.

“What is needed is a coordinated multidisciplinary  approach to effectively and efficiently tackle the global emergence and re-emergence of these diseases.”

“For expatriates, this bias faced by expatriates from the government is déjà vu, one that we saw during the Covid period.”

“The government cannot run away from its responsibility to prevent the epidemic. Strict restrictions were imposed on non-residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. The psychological effects of the stress and discrimination face by expatriates during Covid  are still present. Expatriates who returned home following all the guidelines laid down by the government. Many of these people returned home after losing their jobs and livelihoods, only to face more emotional torture to reach home. “

“The Government treated our returning expatriates as second-class citizens. It’s time for the Government of Kerala to assess the activities of the health department in foreign countries, especially in the Gulf countries, during the epidemic phases.”

“Across the Gulf countries, the Covid pandemic was handled with much vigilance without affecting anyone’s lives. The State must also understand the benefits given by each country to their health workers and front-line fighters of Covid.”

“Expatriates are the backbone of Kerala and there is no doubt how much the expatriates have reached out to residents in India during the Covid crisis. Efforts from some quarters to isolate the ever-neglected diaspora in the name of Monkeypox cannot be accepted.”